Garden Design Tips: Wake Up a Sleepy Green Garden

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As summer starts to roll toward fall, you may notice parts (or all!) of your garden looking awash in green foliage and therefore a bit boring.

garden design

The long-term solution for this garden design problem is to add more shrubs and perennials that bloom in mid- to late summer or that have colorfully patterned or interestingly textured leaves. However, those are better planted in fall when the weather cools. Take notes of where your garden could use more color now, research the plants that will do the job and suit your growing conditions, and plan to add those this fall or early next spring.

There are are some quick fixes to shake up your garden design this season, though. Try these easy ways to add immediate interest:

  • Add annuals that are blooming now and will keep blooming until frost, or foliage annuals like coleus. Chances are good that you can find some deeply discounted at your favorite garden center.
  • Likewise, purchase tropical plants with colorful foliage (such as croton) from your local greenhouse, plant them in containers and place those in the garden. As fall approaches you can move these indoors to grow as houseplants.
  • If you’re already growing annuals or summer-blooming perennials in containers, move those pots into a blah-looking border.
  • Did some of your container plants succumb to heat or drought? Do you have pots in your shed that you never got around to planting? Is the garden center offering big containers on sale right now? Place one (or some) of those beautiful empty pots into the garden!
  • If you know which perennials or summer-blooming shrubs would work best in your garden design and you see them for sale, go ahead and purchase them but slip them (nursery pot and all) into a pretty container, and put that into the garden. Keep the plant watered and tended to until the weather cools and precipitation returns in fall and you can safely plant it. (This is a good way to be sure you’ve chosen the best spot for it, too, as it gives you time to live with the plant in its potential location before making it permanent.)

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